Diane Ravitch on Starting a Voucher School in Wisconsin
A reader writes from Wisconsin:
After our Act 10 passed in Wisconsin, a few of my colleagues and I looked into what it would take to take our game to the private sector and start a voucher school in our town. What we learned was that it would be perfectly legal for us to rent an abandoned storefront in our town and lure students in with the promise of free technology that they could keep, even after they left the school. We could collect our voucher money from the state after the third Friday in September, when the state establishes your enrollment. To keep costs low and profits high, we could use Khan Academy as our curriculum and hire uncertified aides to monitor the students (we had a few recent HS graduates in mind who we thought would make good bouncers). The hastily sketched out business plan had us earning far more than we would as public school teachers, based on our best estimates.
But the real beauty of the plan kicked in after the third Friday in September. Immediately after that, we would start “counseling” kids out and sending them back to the public school. We figure that by Thanksgiving or at the latest Christmas, we would have our enrollment down to zero, then we could fire the bouncers, break the lease, take the voucher money and run. All totally legitimate, as far as we could tell by reading the law.